The negative mood at the stock market continued Thursday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) shedding 0.61 per cent to close at 37,733.44. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N88.5 billion to close lower at 13.7 trillion.This has brought the year-to-date decline to 1.3 per cent. The bearish performance stemmed from depreciation suffered by bellwether counters such as Dangote Cement Plc and some banking stocks as negative sentiments persisted.
According to analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, “the mood in the market was largely downbeat, despite the modest gains recorded on counters in the consumer goods sector. Profit taking on Dangote Cement Plc and bellwether stocks in the banking sector dragged the day’s results.”
In all, 21 stocks depreciated while 17 appreciated. Equity Assurance Plc recorded the highest loss, shedding 4.5 per cent. Wema Bank Plc trailed with 4.1 per cent. Diamond Bank Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc and Transcorp Plc went down by 3.5 per cent apiece.
Other top price losers include: University Press Plc(3.0 per cent); Royal Exchange Plc (2.9 per cent); LASACO Assurance Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Plc (2.7 per cent each). Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc (2.6 per cent) and Dangote Flour Mills Plc (2.4 per cent); Dangote Cement Plc (2.1 per cent).
However, the 17 stocks that escaped from the bears were led by Honeywell Flours Mills Plc with 9.5 per cent, trailed by Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc with 9.3 per cent. Lafarge Africa Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc chalked up 5.0 per cent apiece.
Other top gainers were: Regency Alliance Assurance Plc (4.1 per cent); Niger Insurance Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc (4.0 per cent each); Linkage Assurance Plc(3.9 per cent) and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (3.7 per cent).
But in terms of sectoral performance, three indicators closed higher, one depreciated, while one closed flat. The NSE Industrial Goods Index led with 1.4 per cent, followed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index that appreciated by 0.5 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.2 per cent.
Conversely, the NSE Banking Index was the sole loser, shedding 0.7 per cent on the back of sell-offs in GTBank, Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank Plc. The NSE Oil & Gas Index closed flat.
Meanwhile, activity level improved as volume and value traded rose 11.5 per cent and 40.0 per cent to 414.9 million shares and N4.5 billion respectively.